How to Become a Cloud Engineer

By now, it is quite clear that cloud computing is changing the way businesses function, creating a new paradigm of choice to deliver and manage data and applications. Today, you can see that many companies have invested in and shifted to cloud computing for various reasons.

A report by IDC predicts that global spending on public cloud infrastructure and related services will reach around $500 billion by 2023—up from $229 billion in 2019. And, as is the case with any technology that’s growing that fast, so are related job opportunities.

In this article, we will discuss how you can become a cloud engineer. Before learning how to become one, however, you must first understand the fundamentals of cloud computing, and why you should think about becoming one.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to services like storage, databases, software, and analytics that are made accessible via the internet. According to Gartner, the cloud tech services market is expected to grow from $175.8 billion in 2018 to $206 billion in 2019—a rise of 17.3 percent in a single year. 

As of 2020, it is expected that 90 percent of all organizations in the world will be using cloud services in some form. Today, various companies and organizations claim that cloud computing services have helped their employees perform better and experiment more, especially in fields like machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

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What Are the Career Paths of a Cloud Computing Engineer?

A cloud engineer is an IT professional responsible for all the technical aspects of cloud computing like planning and design, maintenance, and support. A cloud computing engineer can take up several different career paths, including:

  • Cloud developer
  • Front-end/back-end developer
  • Solutions architect
  • Cloud architect
  • Data engineer
  • Security engineer
  • Development operations engineer
  • Full-Stack developer
  • SysOps administrator

Major Cloud Computing Roles

Solutions Architect

Solutions Architects are responsible for analyzing the technical environment, requirements, specifications. These professionals are required to select appropriate technologies that meet business needs. They estimate and manage usage and operational costs of the solutions they provide and support project management, development, and operations teams. 

SysOps Administrators

SysOps Administrators deploy, manage, and operate highly scalable and fault-tolerant cloud-based and hybrid systems. These professionals select an appropriate service based on computing, security, or data requirements. They estimate and manage infrastructure and services usage and operational costs. They are also experts on how to migrate on-premises workloads to the cloud.


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Steps to Become a Cloud Engineer

Step 1: Gain Proficiency in a Cloud Computing Platform

The first and foremost step to becoming a cloud engineer is to be proficient in at least one of the three major cloud computing platforms—AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). There are many resources that you can find on the internet, like YouTube videos, educational articles, and virtual or physical training, to gain a basic understanding. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to can get certified in any of the respective environments. 

For AWS, various certifications can be divided into four categories:

  • Foundation (basic)
  • Associate
  • Professional
  • Specialty-level

Similarly, for Azure, there are multiple training paths and certifications, as the graphic below indicates:

Most cloud computing platforms also offer a free tier of service. This is especially useful while you are choosing which provider to move to—or, whether you want to migrate your workloads to more than one cloud-based on your business requirements and the ROI you want to achieve.

Step 2: Having Experience in at Least One Programming Language

Unlike general-purpose programming languages like C and C++, cloud computing requires more data-oriented programming languages, such as Python, Java, and Clojure. To learn these, you can use blogs, videos, online/offline classes, and other free resources.

Step 3: Specializing

Apart from gaining knowledge in cloud computing platforms and being experienced in at least one programming language, you will also need some understanding of key concepts like:

  • Storage and Networking

    With storage, you need to know the different ways you can store data and where you can access it from. It is also vital that you have some experience with the services Azure and AWS provide, like AWS S3 and Azure Storage in Microsoft Azure. You also need to have a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts of networking. 
  • Virtualization and Operating Systems

    While you are leveraging physical infrastructure in cloud data centers, most of what you will be configuring and managing are virtual machines (VMs) that run on the hardware. You also need to understand how those VMs work on virtual networks in the cloud. Public clouds are also OS-agnostic, so you should have a good grasp of Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • Security and Disaster Recovery

    Data, applications, and infrastructure must be protected from cybersecurity threats and malicious attacks. You should be prepared for any unexpected circumstances by making sure that your systems are safe and regularly backed up to circumvent any data loss.
  • Web Services and DevOps

    Do you have a strong understanding of how cloud computing can provide a centralized platform, on which you can perform testing, deployment, and production for DevOps automation? Moreover, with DevOps, do you understand the synergy needed between the operations and the development teams? In today’s agile, dynamic world, this is a must.

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Cloud Engineer Salary

Cloud computing engineers fetch high salaries, too. According to Payscale, in the United States, they earn an average of around $116,800 annually, and in India, a cloud computing engineer is paid approximately ₹ 6,66,800 per year. In fact, the more experience you gain in cloud computing, the better chance you will have of earning a higher salary.

Become a Cloud Engineer Today!

Cloud computing is rapidly changing how businesses function. That’s not going to change. This has led to almost 80 percent of organizations running some part of their business on cloud computing platforms, like AWS and Azure. While this has created many opportunities for cloud engineers, the skill gap in the industry is concerning. 

If you are interested in becoming a cloud engineer or want to start your career in cloud computing, now is the right time. By following the steps mentioned above and earning the proper certifications, you can become a successful cloud engineer. You can also enroll in online certification courses, like Simplilearn’s AWS Solutions Architect Certification Training Course and Microsoft Certified Azure Architect Design Training Course to learn the nuances of cloud technology. What are you waiting for?

About the Author

Rahul ArunRahul Arun

Rahul is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn. Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning are some of his favorite topics of discussion. Rahul can be found listening to music, doodling, and gaming.

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